It’s no secret I love my Weight Watchers message boards. I’ve been posting on a thread aimed at setting goals since the summer. The rule is this: You pick a goal, stick with it for 21 days in a row, and complete the cycle. Then you choose a new goal (or the same one, or add on to your existing one), and start a new 21-day cycle.
I rocked the first cycle. The 2nd I restarted several times. I’ve now restarted the 3rd cycle more times than I can count. I’ve tried various goals, mostly focusing around staying on-plan (OP), but seem to be not following through on most of them. Most recently, my goal was to follow the Simply Filling Technique (a twist on the typical WW Points strategy). My reasoning behind this was that I wanted to eat more real foods, less processed foods, and focus on my hunger signals. The results: I wasn’t really listening to hunger signals, and still eating things that were non-filling foods and going way over my Weekly Points Allowance.
So last Tuesday, I checked in with the thread and said I wasn’t sure what my goal should be. After a lot of back forth on that and other threads that day, I had an epiphany. This is what I posted on one thread:
I want to eat more "real" foods/less processed foods. I want to feel satisfied, not stuffed.
In other words, I’m looking for balance. I want to be able to eat what I want, but not go overboard.
So I decided my new 3rd cycle goal is to evaluate each day’s balance, to really take a good look and do an honest self-evaluation of whether I was eating more because of emotions or if I was able to find balance in what and why I was eating that day. I decided this blog was the perfect place for my evaluations. And it only took me a week to get started.
My plan is give my menu for the day and evaluate the following:
- Did I eat more real foods than processed foods? I will assign a grade for this: 1- all real foods, 2 – more real than processed, 3 – about equal, 4 – more processed than real, 5 – do you even know what food is?
- Did I eat emotionally?
- How was the overall balance between what, why, and how I ate? This is another grade one: on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being too restrictive, 3 being perfect harmony, and 5 being Return of the Binge Monster
And we’re going to start right now, evaluating yesterday.
Breakfast – None. I got stuck on a 3.5 hour bus ride/4.5 hour commute to work and didn’t get to work til about 11:30. Since I usually eat breakfast at work, that just didn’t happen.
Lunch – miso noodle soup, 9 Schezuan chicken dumplings, cherry Coke Zero
Random – 3 miniature chocolates, 1 fun size Milky Way
Dinner – 3 Stouffer’s French bread pizzas (1.5 White 5 Cheese , 1.5 Extra Cheese), ¾ of a long Bavarian cream donut, 1 Kit Kat bar, 1 package Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, skim milk
Real vs. Processed: Let’s give that one a big ol’ 5. The soup and dumplings were from a local place and probably made with quality ingredients, but not entirely sure what went into them. Everything else (except the milk) is clearly junk.
Emotional Eating: Yes and yes. Poor me, I had such a rough commute, why did I ever think working NYC was a good idea? I’m way too tired to think about making food. (Never mind there was homemade stuff in the freezer I could have heated as easily as the pizzas.) Yes, I ate emotionally. And then I ate some more. Because it was available and I didn’t care. Then I suffered from some pretty bad acid reflux at 2:44 am and kept waking up all night afraid I was going to throw up in my sleep and die a miserable death by suffocating on my own vomit. Why don’t I remember things like this before I overeat?
Overall Balance: Going with a 5 here, too. I clearly overate and it was definitely emotional. Although I was completely aware of what I was doing and probably could have stopped myself, I didn't. I completely ignored hunger signals, to the point of making myself sick. There was zero real food to balance all the junk. At the very least, I can say at least I recognize what I was doing incorrectly and rectify it today.